Evil thrives when good men look on and do nothing. “The darkest sports in hell are reserved for those who remain neutral in times of moral crisis.”
Since the UPDF is not about to apply to go to hell, we shall not remain neutral when blatant lies are told by those in the know to those that don’t know.
The Greek philosopher, Aristotle also said: “Anyone can become angry; that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time for the right purpose and in the right way; this is not easy.”
The scriptures also say, those that know more, more will be asked unto them. Since we know the truth, if we keep quiet in the name of neutrality, more will be asked unto us.
Col (rtd) Dr Kizza Besigye, the IPC flag bearer, is quoted in The Observer story of December 30, 2010 to have said while campaigning in the Acholi sub-region, that the war would not have begun in the first place had government not mismanaged the politics by marginalising the Acholi.
Since Dr. Besigye, then a Lieutenant Colonel in the NRA, was minister of state for Internal Affairs from 1986 to 1988, then National Political Commissar from 1988 to 1991, he is very much in the know of how rebellion started in the North and can tell us more.
To attempt to distort history for cheap political opportunism is obscurantism of the highest level unexpected of Col Kizza Besigye’ calibre. For the record, Bibia, our border point with Sudan, was liberated by the National Resistance Army on June 29, 1986.
The ex-UNLA, under the leadership of Lt Gen Bazillio Olal Okello (RIP), commanded by Brig Odong Latek attacked the country from Sudan on August 23, 1986. The question for my senior, in cadreship is, did government neglect our Acholi people in just one month and three weeks, and in Bibia?
What was the role of Lt Col Dr. Kizza Besigye, minister of state for Internal Affairs, (Senior Officer) as at January 26,1986, Member of the High Command, Historical Member of the National Resistance Council and Army Council in this government neglect?
He is also quoted to have said that it was the religious leaders and donors that forced President Museveni to talk peace [with Joseph Kony’s LRA]! What about the peace talks of 1988 that led to the peace agreement signed in Pece stadium between the President and Col Angello Okello of the UPDM/A?
Some of the benefits included the integration of the combatants, some of whom are very senior officers in the UPDF today, and playing very useful roles in our country. Indeed that is how Charles Arai (RIP) became Deputy Minister of Public Service.
It is important to note, that the government Col (rtd) Besigye refers to included, in addition to him, Sam Kalega Njuba, minister for Constitutional Affairs, Maj. Nuwe Amanya Mushega, assistant minister of Defence and Chief Political Commissar of the National Resistance Army, Col Mugisha Muntu, Director of Military Intelligence, then Commander of 5th Division, thereafter on promotion to Major General, Army Commander; Major John Kazoora, Special District Administrator, Kampala district.
On September 13, 2006, the International Crisis Group wrote: “Over two decades the LRA has failed to communicate a coherent political programme.
It is commonly perceived as a terrorist spirit cult led by the elusive Joseph Kony, an unstable man commanding an army of brainwashed children forced to commit atrocities in a messianic quest to rule Uganda according to the Ten Commandments.”
Yet innumerable efforts were made to negotiate with Kony, starting with Betty Bigombe in 1994, His Eminence Emmanuel Cardinal Wamala also tried, but never met Kony. Instead, the latter killed the Cardinal’s emissary.
The author is Ministry of Defence/Army spokesman